Mary Machado - "Just Ask for Mary!"

Posted by Rose Ann Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015


Mary Machado spends every day at work visiting with longtime friends, but it’s all a part of her job on the Building Materials Team at Graniterock’s Watsonville Branch. “We all know each other - I grew up here and know a lot of contractors”, explains Mary. “The kids I went to school with are in business now and I know them all. When they come in, it’s ‘Hi Mary, how’s the family’ – and that’s why I like it here so much.” Mary loves knowing her customers on a first name basis and says when a new customer shows up at the Branch, it’s often because a friend told them, “Go on over and just ask for Mary”.

Mary was born in Augsburg, Germany while her dad was serving in the army, but has lived in Watsonville almost all her life. “I have good memories of growing up in Watsonville,” says Mary.  “Thursday night was shopping night and we’d walk downtown to J.C. Penny’s, Woolworth’s Five and Dime or Ford’s Department Store, with a stop at Taylor’s hot dog stand. It was the best of times.” After graduating from Watsonville High, Mary studied child development at Cabrillo College and became a preschool teacher with Head Start. After a move to Aromas, she saw an ad for a job at the Graniterock quarry. The location was perfect for her, and she began work in the Purchasing Department with Mike McPharlin in 1985. She started out helping to buy belts and tires and all the big parts for the quarry’s plants and equipment. As they say, the rest is history. 

Over her past twenty-eight years with Graniterock, Mary has filled many different jobs and worked with a lot of different people and personalities. “There was an opening with (quarry supervisor) Jerry Allen as administrative assistant while we were building the big new plant, installing the Krupp crusher and automating the quarry. After the automation it was no longer necessary to manually complete tags for railcars, and I moved from administrative assistant to the scale house.” Mary recalls the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake when “Rip rap was needed for broken levees and bridges and trucks were lined up all the way from the scale house to the loading plant. Roads and levees needed repair from the north down to Monterey Bay and we worked 12-14 hour days to meet the need for disaster relief. But it was heartfelt, and everyone pulled together.”

Mary had a very busy job at the quarry scale house but thought she’d like to try something different within the Company. She took advantage of Graniterock’s “Try a job” program and applied for the Santa Cruz Building Material Inside Sales position. She liked it enough to move to the Santa Cruz Building Materials yard, where she worked with Bruce Richardson, Roger Swenson and Dick Mann, who was manager at the time. Then in 1996 she switched over to the Watsonville Branch. “With Mark Treanor’s help, I learned to wear a lot of hats - purchasing stone, special orders, managing new assistants, and some outside sales calls to landscapers,” Mary recalls. 

The Branch began to grow with Graniterock’s reputation as the place to come to for the excellent customer service. Now Mary and her “best ever co-worker” Jorge Garcia are the people to come to for special needs. "People like the special attention you can’t get other places.”

When not visiting with her Graniterock customers, Mary likes gardening, Zumba classes, yard saleing and sewing, and loves spending time with family, especially  granddaughters Brielle and Ashley, ages 14 and 9.  “I made my kid’s Halloween costumes for many years and now enjoy making them for my grandchildren.”  Mary also likes to reminisce about fun times with Graniterock over the years, and has fond memories of including all her family in Graniterock parties, picnics and community events. “We’ve always had the best time ever,” she enthusiastically recalls. 

Back at work, Mary says things are picking up this year. “We rely on walk-in business and advertising and people I’ve known all my life who come in to see how I’m doing. We have built up a lot of loyal customers.” This is not surprising, since Mary makes people feel so welcome.  “The best thing I like about my job is when customers say, ‘My contractor told me to come here to Graniterock and see Mary.’ I tell them, OK, let’s see how we can help you, what do you need? You came to the right place.”

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